Assessment of experience gained in collaborative management of a protected area: Mount Elgon National Park, Uganda
MetadataShow full item record
This case study looks at the application of community forestry principles to the management of a protected area, Mount Elgon National Park in Uganda. Collaborative forest management began in Mount Elgon National Park in 1996 with the support of the Mount Elgon Conservation and Development Project and the World Conservation Union (IUCN), which had been working with Mount Elgon National Park and other partner institutions since 1988. The project was started in response to widespread degradation of the (then) Mount Elgon Forest Reserve in the 1970s and 1980s during the period of war and instability in Uganda. Over 25 000 ha of the forest reserve were heavily degraded through encroachment for agriculture and there was widespread uncontrolled use of a wide range of forest resources. Collaborative management was proposed as an approach for dealing with the management problems of the forest reserve in 1993. When the reserve was converted to a national park in 1993, the new management authority (the Uganda Wildlife Authority) accepted this proposal and supported the piloting of collaborative management in two parishes. Two collaborative management agreements were negotiated during 1994 and 1995 and signed in 1996. Since then, work has continued to review and revise these agreements and to expand them to other areas around the park. This experience has provided a range of lessons about the implementation of collaborative forest management in a protected area. These include lessons about institutional arrangements, investigation and negotiation processes, community structures and administrative arrangements, and training and capacity-building needs of the implementing institutions.